Gordon Strachan named as defib mystery benefactor

Gordon Strachan. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Gordon Strachan. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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SCOTLAND boss Gordon Strachan is today revealed as the mystery benefactor who donated a life-saving defibrillator to ­Silverknowes Golf Club.

Muirhouse-born Strachan, whose late dad used to play at the club, splashed out £1500 for the heart-starting device.

Members of Silverknowes Golf Club, where the 57-year-old’s late father Jimmy used to play, were delighted when a fundraising day set up to try to secure a life-saving defibrillator not only met its target, but took delivery of a special donation – one of the devices itself.

The identity of the mystery benefactor of the £1500 equipment was a closely guarded secret – until today.

The Evening News can reveal that the ex-Manchester United and Aberdeen star, an honorary member at Silverknowes, gifted the heart-start machine to the club.

Strachan’s dad, who died of lung cancer in 2011 aged 75, was a regular at the course, while the Scotland boss himself often visits the neighbourhood where his mum, Catherine, still lives.

He also supports community causes, including his old school Craigroyston Community High, where he has dropped by to train with pupils and talk to them about achieving their goals.

“Gordon is a friend of the club, and an honorary member,” said Jimmy Gardiner, who helped organise the 
fundraiser.

“What Gordon does for the club, he doesn’t do for publicity. We’re just happy enough that we’ve got the defibrillator. At the end of the day, we’re just grateful.”

The donation means that, coupled with the fundraising, the club now has two defibrillators and one is being passed on to nearby Lauriston Thistle FC.

Mark Dolphin, youth team coach at the East Pilton-based club, said: “I had heard that it might have been Strachan that donated the defibrillator. We’re very grateful that the golf club have offered it to us.”

Community leader Robert Pearson, chairman of the Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse group, said: “To hear that Gordon has donated a defibrillator is absolutely fantastic. He is someone who clearly remembers his roots.”

The Evening News has joined forces with the family of schoolboy footballer Jamie Skinner to launch the Shockingly Easy campaign, which aims to put a defibrillator 
in every Lothians sports club in memory of 13-year-old Jamie, who died of a cardiac arrest while playing for Tynecastle in December.

Jamie’s cousin and one of the founders of the Jamie Skinner Foundation, Karen Greechan, was bowled over by the support from the Scotland manager.

She said: “We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of such a high-profile sporting ambassador.

“The defibrillator donated by Gordon Strachan could save a life, which is what the Jamie Skinner Foundation is all about.

“The fact that he’s a local hero and is putting something back into the community will inspire young footballers to follow his example by taking part in sport safely.”

paris.gourtsoyannis@edinburghnews.com